Researcher Jukka Lekkala is leading a team looking to develop
implantable wireless sensors. They are looking to overcome the
limitations of external or supercutaneous sensors like poor skin
contact and inconvenience for long term monitoring. One of the key
challenges that Lekkala and his team will address is biocompatibility.
of sensors to be customised for each application. It is even possible
to incorporate functional elements, such as by enhancing the implant
coating with a layer that releases antibiotics. Sensors should also be
flexible, so that they can follow the patient's movements. This
requires that the sensor circuit boards are flexible and its components
are thin enough to bend with the circuit board. A silicon chip reduced
to a thickness of less than 0.1 millimetre will be flexible. When this
flexible package is coated with a thin, protective and biocompatible
material, the entire unit will effectively flex with and withstand the
patient's movements while implanted.
[Hat tip: MedGadget]